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General Sportbikes This area is for sport bike discussion in general. Topics that don't really belong anywhere else can go here. Questions can be answered and addressed to fully understand certain aspects of the sport. If your question is manufacturer specific please post it there.
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
kcuddennab
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Default Honda v.s. Suzuki v.s. Yamaha v.s. Kawasaki

I often get this question from a beginner or a non-motorcyclist...

How do SPORTBIKES from the four brands compare? If you had to explain in a couple of sentences some general characteristics of each brand (which sets it apart from the other 3 brands and make it unique), what would you say?

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Old 03-24-2005, 03:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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waht they are known for

Honda-dependable
kawasaki-strong engines
yamaha-styling
suzuki - fast
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They are all so close in reliablility and performance these days that it all comes down to a matter of personal taste
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm goin with SUPERBIKER on this one, now a days it's pick your favorite color and go with that one.
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That sounds about right. I always tell people if they want to find the one that is right for you, to go and sit on each one and see which is the most comfortable to you. Then when you find the one that you are most comfortable, then pick out your favorite color.
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I understand that they are ultra-close these days and it really does come down to personal taste...

Still, I think there are some things that set each brand apart...I'm looking for a description of what those things are...I think the first reply was on the right track...
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Honda-Cutting edge technology developed with long term, extensive race experience at all levels, including total commitment to MotoGP. Was world champion with Rossi on the Repsol Honda. Their consumer sportbikes ooze quality if not mundane styling and graphics. Two best examples are the 2004 RC51 and the 2005 Repsol CBR1000.





Kawasaki-Relative new committment to MotoGP racing. Haven't reached the podium with any regularity. Has a reputation, dating back to the late 1960's and early 1970's as having the fastest street motorcyle available to consumers. New ZX10R does nothing to quiet this reputation. Build quality is improving each year.





Suzuki-Perenniel AMA Superbike champion, though recent committment to MotoGP is lagging far behind Honda. GSXR1000 is considered a co-equal to Kawasaki's ZX10R as champion of the street machine. Newest (2005) gixxer is even smaller and lighter than last year. A lot of performance for the money.






Yamaha-Very active in AMA Superbike, though consistently runs behind Suzuki and Honda. Rossi just won 2004 MotoGP championship on a Yamaha product. R1 is considered equal to Honda in build quality and parts. Styling is futuristic and always on cutting edge.
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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European Alternatives:





Triumph-Unique 3-cylinder Daytona is typical British engineering at it's finest. Somewhat heavier than it's Japanese brethern in class, the Daytona is at the top of styling, build quality, and exclusiveness. Ergos are not as radical as some race replicas, and the howl of that triple on the boil will send shivers down your spine. Triumph is the value leader in urban sport litre sportbikes.






aprilia-aprilia has an extensive stable of V-60 mille machines from the top of the line RSV Factory sporting OZ wheels, Ohlins suspension, and carbon fiber everywhere, to the value leader SL Falco. Aprilia, while relatively new to the superbike class, has an extensive championship racing heritage in the smaller displacement catagories. aprila left MotoGP racing, due in part from financial dificulties as well as their inability to get the Cube engine sorted. aprilia epitomizes the high quality, low maintenance, and very reliable high performance Italian sport bike.







Moto Guzzi-Bought and brought back to life by aprilia, Moto Guzzie represents the shaft-drive class of fine Italian sportbikes. With it's radially mounted V-twin engine and unique styling, backed by a racing tradition, Moto Guzzi represents the best of modern sportbike technology, wrapped in an historically pleasing suit.




Ducati-Extensive race heritage in AMA Superbike, WSBK, and MotoGP racing. Ducatistis, as their owners are called, thrive on technological advancements, and the trellis framed Ducati sport bikes they ride are truly Italian art form in motion. Ducati is at the top of European V-twin engine technology.
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Old 03-24-2005, 05:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hi,
how about if one were to get a used 600cc?
what year did they start being close?
how about the lightest?

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Old 03-24-2005, 06:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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racing is what sets them apart in each segment. that's why moto gp is so important for the Big 4, winning races is the only thing that can really differentiate them. that's why rossi gets paid the big bucks to do what he does, and deservedly so.

that said, all the big 4 win their share of races so even that doesnt set any one company apart for long. kawasaki has always been the poor man's choice, with bulletproof motors and efficient styling. see bikes like the concours, great bike for what it's designed to be (cheap and fast tourer) but getting way long in tooth. another kawi example in a different vein would be the zx-10...mind-blowing performance in an efficient package, but not the most beautiful thing on two wheels, for sure. great motor though, kawi always has great motors.

and yamaha always has the over-the-top styling...I personally find the new r6 and r1 to be rolling art compared to any kwakker, with performance to match. suzuki just does their own thing to push the envelope and at the same time they stick to their roots. The busa is a suzuki masterpiece of design, function and form coming together in something so unique it polarizes ppl into two extremes of love and hate as soon as they see it. I personally think it's pretty ugly, but I like that it just does what it does and dares you to hate it for doing it. Hate it to its face and it will punish you! another good suzuki story is the gsx-r 750, a piece of sportbike history and I dont think they will ever kill it...which is commendable. they just keep making it better, and it fits a certain niche quite well even though its race days are long gone. going back to kawi, look at the zx-7r...AKA "jurassic bike". A great bike in the early to mid 90's winning lots of races, but never seriously redesigned. heavy and somewhat ungainly by the end of its long run, but I still like seeing the showroom quality 1991 zx7 in houston...looking at that is like going back in time, in a good way. nostalgia.

honda has a perception of being bland in design, and to be kind I find them not all that exciting. however, they are always pushing technology in the field and you have to respect that. quality through and through and one of the first to put out good FI on their bikes.

everybody has their own tastes. personally, I like carbs and the "old" zx6r I ride has the best blend of performance, looks, low cost of owndership, and comfort of any bike I know. if I had all the money in the world I would definitely have an aprilia mille R and a duc 999 over my little green kawi. but how many people can justify 15k+ on a motorcycle besides the very rich, or the very mentally disturbed harley/chopper owners?
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with all of you. It is down to your personal taste and what fits you better. They are all fast and pretty to me.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Kawasaki - Green
Honda - Red
Suzuki - Yellow
Yamaha - Blue

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Old 03-25-2005, 10:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'll take a shot at this.

Honda - Heavier, hard seats, reliable.
Kawasaki - Powerful motors, reliability problems (just what I've heard).
Yamaha - Good looks, low tourqe, high redlines.
Suzuki - Usually a step ahead in the 1000s, slightly behind in the 600s.
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